No easy street (lolahead) wrote in philly_dining,
No easy street

A little about the fast food mexican chains...

Because I am inlove with an occasional burrito, I have found myself at many of the local burrito/mexican fast food places. I just wanted to let you all know about my experiences. I have been in love with Mesa Fresh. There is one at the KOP mall, one in the Gateway shopping center and one all the way out at Brinton Lake near Gulf Mills. There might even be more in the area but I am not familiar with them. I have only tried the one at Brinton Lake Shopping center on Rt. 1 and the one in Gateway Shopping center off of 202. Either way, they have great salads, good vegetarian choices, yet plenty of meaty choices as well. I love their salsa bar and find that there is really something for everyone, even people who don't like spicy foods. The Mesa Fresh in Brinton Shopping center has a liquor license and they have HUGE frozen margaritas as well as a few choices of mexican and domestic beers. Both Mesa's I've been to have had really fast service and consistently decent food. The people at the register speak English well and they are very friendly. The music is typically of the arrhythmia/heart palpitation salsa variety and tends to get annoying after a little while, but there is always the option to take the food out! I recommend the Mesa Veggie salad if you are in the mood to be healthy, and if not, get one of their smothered burritos.

The Red Sombrero, near Painter's Crossing on 202 is a far cry from a decent place. I don't even know if there are more of these Red Sombrero places; however, my experience there was not good. I waited in line a very long time. When I got to the front I discovered that the reason is that they don't really speak or understand English. My boyfriend ordered a burrito with black beans and rice, with all the other good stuff. He ended up getting a fully loaded rice burrito with nothing else in it. When he took it back and told them he wanted black beans, they ended up giving him a chicken burrito. He was pissed...and as a vegetarian, he flipped on the non-English speaker who took the order and we got our money back and went elsewhere. Either way, the place really rubbed us the wrong way.

Now a new burrito place has opened in my neighborhood. It's called Moe's Mexican Grill. I would guess it's a California company. Everyone who works there is very American and they have trendy, silly names for all their food choices. The salsa bar isn't as great as Mesa's but it does the job. The burritos are amazing and they really pile on the crap, if that's what you like.

I have yet to try Zulu in Devon or Baja Fresh in King of Prussia but would love to hear some other opinions.

The other place I absolutely love is Del Ray Sol on South Street in Philadelphia. Aside from having original Day of the Dead decorations and a really homey yet creepy feel, their food is amazing. It's a little pricier than some of the chains but it is really worth the extra dough (and the hassle of parking-unless of course you live in that neighborhood.) They also have some great vegetarian choices but also some incredible meat choices as well. The unique fresh squeezed juices (I recommend the apple/ginger) are awesome and the place just has a general good feel to it. The dining area is incredibly small and most of the times I ate there I either ate outside during the summer or took my burrito home.

Tell me now! What's your favorite Mexican fast food place? And if you say Chi Chi's, you're fired! ;) Although...Chi Chi's really had some great drink specials...too bad about the scallions...wasn't it scallions?
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